First-Time Home Buyer? This Is For You.
Buying your first home at any age can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. Below are some of the few pointers we think can help you out in this process.
1. Stick To Your Budget
Let’s say you're interested in a home, but you’re not sure it’s in your price range. That’s a problem. Before you start browsing, it’s crucial that you iron out important questions such as, what is the most you can afford?
What is your ideal price range? Make sure your monthly budget considers the total mortgage and maintenance costs of a property.
If you fall in love with a house but the monthly payment is more than you can afford, when including all your other fixed expenses, it’s time to move on.
2. Know Exactly What You Want
Before you start seriously shopping, consider your lifestyle and values. What features would enhance your well-being? And what would make you miserable? From there, make a list of non-negotiables. There is nothing better than knowing exactly what you want, but it's hard to find everything in one property. The best way to gauge your options is to visit open houses in the area and get acquainted with the local market. Visit homes that are both above and below your budget to see how values differ with features and location.
3. An Experienced Realtor Helps
Your realtor can make or break your home buying experience. If you know where you want to live, try and get a realtor referral. Fifty four percent of buyers found their agent from a personal referral or had used an agent they’d worked with before, according to 2014 figures from the National Association of Realtors. So start by asking friends, family or friends of friends who live in your area of interest for recommendations. If that fails, real estate websites Streeteasy, Trulia and Zillow all have ratings on local realtors.
An experienced realtor will also have contacts for loan officers and real-estate attorneys -- and can offer tips going in, such as having a copy of a mortgage pre-approval letter on hand from the loaning bank, to show sellers you’re a serious buyer.
Ah yes. We are all looking for "the one", but what if you find "the two"?? That's ideal. In reality, what we see is that our clients will find a home that fist almost all of their criteria. They find one that meets their needs, provides a lot of their wants, and there are always a few things that they have to "put up with"; items that they don't necessarily like and sometimes cannot do anything about. And that is ok!
5. Know the Closing Costs
Closing costs, which don’t include your personal packing and moving costs, can vary widely. Typically, they include the cost of hiring a real-estate attorney to look over your buyer-seller agreement and a home appraiser to evaluate the home before the sale, which is typically paid by the buyer.
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